The Voyage Part 25 – The end – Every end is a new beginning

Travel and Photography


Liz had been dreading the voyage back over the notorious Bay of Biscay. The storm was still on our tail. The sea was choppy, but not as bad as the seven-metre swells going out, these were only five metres. Maybe it was the fact that it wasn’t quite so rough, or that we now had our sea legs, or it could have been the fact that she now took her sea sickness tablets at the right time, but she did not succumb to sea sickness at all.

The trip was ending. The sky leaden grey, rain made the deck slippery for our daily walks, and there were no other destinations. The sun-loungers and back deck were empty of all but a few hardy souls. A bunch of extremely well-clad twitchers valiantly manned the deck near the front but were no longer congregated at the bow; the wind was far too cold and biting. They huddled in the shelter at the side with their array of binoculars and huge camera lenses.

All the passengers were forced inside. It was difficult to find space to read or write but we managed. I sorted the thousands of photos I had snapped and looked back over the whole experience. It had been amazing.

The day before we arrived in Bristol we found ourselves in a dilemma. We were docking later than expected. We’d travelled down by train and there was no way that we could get to the train station in time to catch our train if we followed the disembarkation plan. We had no option but to take the special express method. This meant we could get off the boat as soon as we had docked but we had to manage all our own luggage. This was a nightmare. We each had two huge heavy bags, not only full of two months of dirty clothes and paraphernalia, but also augmented with half a ton of coffee beans and cashew nuts, plus a brewery of alcoholic beverages. On top of that we had cameras, laptops, and enough hand luggage to snap a camel’s legs.

Instead of merely putting our bags out in the corridor for some other poor soul to lug off the boat for us, and having a last relaxed coffee with new friends, we were looking at a nightmare of struggling down a narrow, rickety gangplank with more baggage than we could possibly manage and no assistance.

There was no choice.

We decided to allow fate to take its course. Even though it was impossible we would go with the flow. Somehow it would happen.

It did.

Some people helped – they always do – and we found ourselves on the quay.

With a last look back at the Marco Polo we struggled off to the taxi.

The adventure was over!

Here’s to the next!!!

Leave a Reply